Get out the popcorn! This internecine war among antivaccinationists is getting interesting (part 4)

I'm running out of popcorn again.

I know I've been writing a lot about the latest internecine war among cranks. It's a battle royale whose first shot occurred when everybody's favorite Boy Wonder "reporter" betrayed his mentors with a missive published on a hive of scum and quackery even more wretched that the hive of scum and quackery at the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism, namely The Bolen Report. He even went so far as to publish private e-mails of prominent members of the antivaccine group SafeMinds. It didn't take long for SafeMinds to unleash a counterattack, joined by Dan Olmsted at AoA, and it was on, as last week Jake Crosby posted a followup screed, in which he castigated Mark Blaxill, SafeMinds, and a lot of his former friends, all the while providing the lamest justification I've ever heard for betraying the confidences of friends.

To be honest, after that last broadside by Jake, I didn't expect to hear anything for a while. From my point of view, it seemed as though Jake had only been allowed to post that final shot because of some sort of leverage over Dan Olmsted, whose introduction to Jake's post sounded quite peeved and unenthusiastic. It was also obvious that Jake was being manipulated, used as a tool by forces he clearly doesn't understand. Apparently enamored of an antivaccine former scientist named Brian Hooker, who really, really believes in the scientifically discredited idea that mercury in vaccines causes autism, Jake has been clearly serving as the mouthpiece for Hooker's agenda, a clear case of old age and treachery overcoming youth and skill. Well, overcoming youth, anyway. You see, Hooker apparently believes that SafeMinds used lobbyist Beth Clay to push him out from getting to testify at the recent Congressional mummer's farce of a committee hearing about autism. Yes, it's a war between the True Believers, who want to speak antivaccine Truth to power no matter what, and the pragmatist wing of the antivaccine quackery movement, as embodied by SafeMinds.

Boy, was I wrong in my expectations!

Just yesterday, what to my amused eyes should appear but a post from Hulda Clark's pit bull, the man whose sole talent is to slime anyone who brings science-based criticism to quackery and in the process making the denizens of AoA appear rational by comparison. I'm referring to Patrick "Tim" Bolen, also known as Tim O'Ranter, who has announced that he is going to take over the antivaccine movement in a post entitled Why Autism is Going to Be Here Much, Much Longer...Unless Major Change Happens... Seriously, it's so awesome that I'll cut to the punchline first:

There are a lot of Autism small groups reaching out and solving, or at least mitigating, small problems. But, in the Autism community there is no General Plan, and no effort to put one together. More, the top leadership groups, for the most part, are exclusive, not inclusive.

So, in my opinion, without a change in Autism leadership, strategy and tactics, Autism is very much here to stay.

So, what should we, in the Health Freedom Movement do about this?

Frankly, I think we should take this project over, and run it ourselves. We are much better organized, treat each other with respect, and we like challenges. Most of all we know how to win.

And, yes, I have a list of people, and groups, in the Autism world we could work with.

I'm not one for praying, as regular readers know. I am, after all, more or less a godless heathen. But Bolen's success in this endeavor is something that might get me praying again. Can you imagine? If Bolen were to succeed in taking over the "project" of promoting the idea that vaccines cause autism and the various quackery known as the "autism biomed" movement, usurping the current groups that promote this quackery, he'd do for antivaccine quackery what he did for Hulda Clark: Complete the process of marginalizing it. Besides, Bolen would provide endless entertainment value while completely destroying any effectiveness of the antivaccine movement in promoting its message, because that's just the kind of guy that he is. Imagine, further, the entertainment value to be had if Bolen, through his pet attack Chihuahua Jake Crosby, managed to succeed in becoming the big machers of the antivaccine movement.

My fantasies of being able to sit back and watch Bolen and Crosby destroy the antivaccine movement by taking it over aside, Bolen was originally going to speak at the yearly quackfest in Chicago known as AutismOne, but his having unleashed Crosby on his former buddies managed to piss them off so much that, well:

While I was at the private meeting in Washington DC I received a message from Teri Arranga (AutismOne) that Mark and Jennifer were going to pull the Canary Party's $9,000 sponsorship of AutismOne if I, Tim Bolen, remained on the AutismOne Speaker Schedule. They were reacting to me having made Jake's article available to Autism leadership. They said I was "destructive." Teri and Ed refused to remove me, so they lost that sponsorship.

I have since removed myself from those speaking engagements. I need to stay neutral.

I love the way Bolen keeps referring to himself as "I, Tim Bolen." It's so self-absorbed and self-importantly pretentious that it never ceases to bring a chuckle to my lips whenever I see it. Particularly amusing is how Bolen refers to something he calls the "Autism Leadership Council" (a misnomer if ever there was one!) to which he sent a hidden link to Jake Crosby's original "expose" that started this little internecine war. Of course, Jake rather ruined any sort of secrecy by Tweeting the secret link, which led to some bloggers (including me), who couldn't resist doing what we do best and blogging about it. If Jake hadn't Tweeted that link, it's doubtful that anyone would have noticed it any time soon. But he did Tweet it; so we did notice it. No doubt Bolen knew Jake couldn't resist publicizing his own work.

The interesting thing about this post is that Bolen lays it on the line. Obviously, because it's Bolen, one has to take everything he says with more than a grain of salt. However, we do nonetheless learn some interesting things about how the schism between Bolen (and now Crosby) and the SafeMinds/AoA contingent occurred. It appears to have begun with the proposed global treaty being developed by the United Nations Environmental Program (UNEP) designed to reduce health hazards by reducing products and processes that release mercury into the environment. The original version of the treaty would have apparently banned thimerosal containing vaccines, but the world public health community strongly objected because doing so would devastate efforts to bring vaccine-preventable diseases under control in Third World countries.

Now here's where it gets interesting. Apparently SafeMinds advocated a "phasedown" of the use of mercury in its press release on the issue. Anyone reasonable reading this press release could not interpret it as anything other than demanding the removal of mercury from all vaccines and pharmaceutical products. But this is Patrick "Tim" Bolen we're talking about here. He saw the word "phasedown," and completely lost his mind, ranting about how a "phasedown" is the industry term for "We'll never do anything voluntarily. What kind of idiot would think we would?" So Bolen wrote an obnoxious letter to the SafeMinds board, an obnoxious and insulting letter being the only kind of letter Bolen is capable of writing. Apparently Sallie Bernard replied but didn't satisfy Bolen with her answers, which then led Bolen to threaten SafeMinds thusly:

Your organization reminds me of the Detroit Lions football team story where Michiganders are waiting for an even colder winter – when the temperature drops to 500 below zero, and Hell freezes over, and the Lions will win the Super Bowl.

You should be careful how you answer my questions, for, frankly, your future as an organization depends on your answers. You, and yours, are under a microscope – and you certainly deserve to be. If there is an explanation for your abysmal success rate NOW would be a good time to explain yourselves.

Should you, foolishly, NOT answer my questions, or attempt to obfuscate again, I will take that as an answer, and proceed accordingly.

Alright, I know more than most that the Lions have been a national laughingstock for the last several years, but come on!

Apparently "proceeding accordingly" means in Bolen-speak unleashing someone like Crosby, who seems eager to descend into the same depths that Bolen routinely inhabits. typically, Bolen seems to be laboring under the delusion that I was defending SafeMinds when I made it clear that I have no dog in this fight and that I find Jake Crosby and SafeMinds equally objectionable. They are, as Gunnery Sargent Hartman would say, all equally worthless when it comes to science, medicine, and the threat to public health they represent. Yet somehow Bolen, true to form, misrepresents me as vigorously defending SafeMinds, while claiming that I have a $39 million grant from Sanofi-Aventis. Would that were true! If that were true I wouldn't have to go groveling to the NIH every four months, hoping against hope to get another grant for a paltry few hundred thousand dollars (which won't go very far in this environment), in spite of pay lines hovering around the 7th percentile range before my current funding is spent and I have to shut my lab down. Such is the life of a translational researcher these days. The claim that I have $39 million in super secret pharma money that only Jake Crosby and Patrick "Tim" Bolen can discover is so outrageously and verifiably wrong that it's a claim that could only come from one or both of that particular not-so-dynamic duo. Funny, too, how Bolen somehow missed the part in the comments where, in response to a suggestion by a reader that people write to Crosby's professors and the chair of his department, I strongly rejected any suggestion that skeptics try to counter people like Jake by harassing them at work or school. We are not, after all, Jake Crosby or Patrick "Tim" Bolen. I will not be a party to sinking to that level.

I will emphasize to Bolen, however, that I do not consider SafeMinds my "friend and ally in this argument," as Bolen claims. As far as I'm concerned, SafeMinds is basically indistinguishable from AoA (they do share many members), and that I lump them in with the same group as Jake Crosby, Brian Hooker, and Tim Bolen. The only difference between SafeMinds and Bolen is that SafeMinds is a bit more dangerous. It has the potential to have a bit more success because it can hide the crazy briefly when it is strategically advantageous to do so. Bolen simply cannot hide or disguise his crankitude even temporarily, and these days, apparently, neither can Crosby anymore. Why else would I be praying that Bolen succeeds in his quest to take over the antivaccine movement? They'd be constantly flying its crank flag high.

Nor do we skeptics sink to the level to which Bolen sinks next. It's a tactic so despicable and shocking that it surprised even me that even someone as vile as Bolen would sink this low in order to attack someone ostensibly on the same "side." Basically, Bolen accuses Mark Blaxill of marital infidelity:

Throughout the discussions with Autism people about what I call the "Autism leadership problem" one other situation kept coming up - the relationship between Mark Blaxill and Jennifer VanDerHorst-Larson. Both Blaxill and Larson have children with Autism - and both seem to be married to someone else - that someone else who takes care of the autistic children while Mark and Jennifer (Ken and Barbie) travel together, endlessly, running, and/or influencing, various organizations (SafeMinds, Facing Autism, the Canary Party, Age of Autism), all of which claim to speak for the Autism community.

I'm told that the night before the infamous Congressional Committee on Oversight and Government Reform committee hearing on November 29th, 2012, the one Jake Crosby talks about in his article, that Elyse Blaxill, Mark's wife, confronted Mark and Jennifer about their "relationship." Mark was quoted as saying "that was the worst night of my life." I'm told that Capitol Police were notified to be on alert that Mark's wife might try to disrupt the televised hearing.

Notice the insinuation. "I'm told," Bolen says. No sources. No evidence. Insinuation without explicitly accusing Blaxill and Larson of having an affair. In other words, it's a classic Bolen smear job. In fact, it's such a vile smear job that I can't believe I actually am feeling a little sympathy for Mark Blaxill, a guy whom I routinely refer to as Mark "Not A Doctor, Not a Scientist" Blaxill.

The rest of Bolen's post is about a group called Facing Autism, which, I must admit, I had never heard of. But wow. This group had a board of directors with a lot of familiar faces, such as Mark Blaxill, Mary Holland, Lou Conte, Dan Olmsted, and other "luminaries" of the antivaccine movement and, if Bolen is to be believed, received $200,000 from a "philanthropic organization" in its first year and was to receive $100,000 a year for at least a year or two after that, but for some reason was defunded. Whether or not this is true, the odd thing is that Bolen says that the "philanthropist" pulled the funding because the organization "simply didn't do what they said they were going to do with the money." Nothing is said about what Facing Autism had promised to do with the money or how it had "failed." However, with that board of rabid antivaccine activists, I must say that I'm glad Facing Autism failed, if fail it did. Sadly, there remains big money funding many of these antivaccine organizations; so great harm to public health by them is still possible.

Whenever I think that antivaccinationists and quacks can't go any lower, they somehow manage to go lower. Usually, when that happens, Bolen is somehow involved. Now he wants to unify the autism-vaccine movement under the banner of his "health freedom" movement whose power and influence only exist in his mind. At this point, I don't know whom I'm rooting for. Actually, I do. I'm rooting for all sides in this little internecine war to destroy each other, which would end the threat to children represented by antivaccine activists such as those in SafeMinds, Patrick "Tim" Bolen, Mark Blaxill, AoA, NVIC, and the whole rotten bunch. Finally, I don't feel the least bit sorry for SafeMinds or AoA. Over the last couple of years, they decided to get close to Bolen, apparently thinking that they could work together, but Bolen can't work with anyone. The internecine war they now find themselves in is entirely their own fault, and they now richly deserve the fallout.

You know, at this point, popcorn alone isn't going to be enough. Can I have some more schadenfreude on that popcorn?

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There's a general rule that whenever you see two enemies fighting with each other that you should generally just let them. Of course, some might argue, as Gandalf did about Saruman and Sauron, that the winner of the fight would emerge stronger and free of doubt, making him harder to conquer.…
It's been well over two weeks since I urged everyone to get out the popcorn and sit back to enjoy the internecine war going on over in the antivaccine movement. The reason for my chuckling was the way that everyone's favorite Boy Wonder Reporter Propagandist for the antivaccine crank blog Age of…
Alright, I give up. I'm getting out the popcorn. It's a Friday night, and it's on, baby! It's so on that I'm breaking one of my blogging rules and writing up a blog post on Friday night, which is when I usually try to relax. I suppose that it helps that I'm working tonight anyway, with a grant…
The other day, I took note again of a rather amusing internecine war going on between various factions of antivaccine cranks. On the one side, spearheaded by everyone's favorite inept conspiracy theorist and bumbling epidemiologist wanna be, Jake Crosby, there are the true believers, who believe…

Just when you think it can't get any "better"...Jake tweets and provides the link on his AoA Twitter page, to Bolen's latest screed.

Yes siree that soiree in Chicago should be full of jousting and intrigue. Jake's handlers at AoA...payback is a bitch.

I hope you have switched to low fat, low sodium popocorn.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 04 Mar 2013 #permalink

Bolen is an example of something "more organized" ? Has he watched his deposition video or read the transcript lately (or looked in a mirror). He's one step away from living "in a van...down by the river".

Is Bolen by chance getting worse?

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 04 Mar 2013 #permalink

"Facing Autism"? Harold Doherty is running a consortium of autism groups? ;)

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 04 Mar 2013 #permalink

Basically, Bolen accuses Mark Blaxill of marital infidelity

You're absolutely right Orac. I don't care for Blaxill, but that was a total dick move by Bolen.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 04 Mar 2013 #permalink

He’s one step away from living “in a van…down by the river”.

He's not still in a shack in a national park?

“Facing Autism”? Harold Doherty is running a consortium of autism groups? ;)

Actually, I have more respect for Mr. Doherty than I ever could muster for any of the other crank bloggers and their groupies. He is the one blogger, who, in spite of plugging into "teh ebil vaccines" and *Big Pharma* conspiracies, is actually proactive for his child...and for other ASD kids who are severely/profoundly intellectually impaired.

He so clearly loves his child, finds joy with his progress and does not dehumanize him. Mr. Doherty is quite aware of the paucity (non-existence, actually), of alternative homelike group homes with enriched staffing, so that when he and his wife can no longer care for his son, other loving caring individuals will provide the intensive care that his son will require. For his advocacy and for his persistence in changing the way New Brunswick cares for their most vulnerable developmentally disabled kids and adults, he has my respect.

I had no idea that Harold Doherty was from New Brunswick (the Canadian one), and from Fredericton. I need to talk to the folks, for all I know he might be my cousin.

By Stewartt1982 (not verified) on 04 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Stewart1982: I've been following Mr. Doherty's blog for a number of years. I sincerely believe that his activities to "push the bureaucracy and the system" have been noble and unlike the ("warrior") parents who blog and post on AoA and other notorious anti-vaccine, anti-science websites and who whine and complain and speak about about their children in the most derogatory terms.

The "warrior" parents and their children have benefited immensely by the advocacy done on their behalf...but more, so much more, needs to be accomplished, for all kids and adults no matter where they are on "The Spectrum".

If you find out that you are related to Harold, try to convince him that some of the people he follows on the internet are not worthy to be his allies. Tell him to come around to real science blogs and tell him "lilady" wishes him, his son and his family success in developing appropriate treatment and residential programs for his beloved child. :-)

leading Bolen to threaten SafeMinds thusly:

Hard to see this as anything but a gang takeover. Bolen is trying to expand his Health Freedom operation into the autism field.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 04 Mar 2013 #permalink

I, elburto, feel like Christmas has come early.

It's like a chain reaction of idiocy, conspiracy-mongering, and anti-vax lunatics hoisting themselves by their own petards.

Hopefully the ultimate result of this series of events will lead to the implosion of these demented, disease-promoting, ableist coalitions, who use fear* to push their twisted agenda.

*Fear of children becoming "damaged, broken, lost, defective", or becoming "polluted with toxins"

This now familiar post showed up on a new site. Some of us posted comments. My single comment was deleted as "unsupportive". I thought we gave the mod a serious challenge and gave lurkers something to think about.

Then I looked at other things that Heidi Stevenson has written and realized she's not just into woo, she's a high priestess of woo.

"Since it now appears likely that the sense of smell is produced at the subatomic level, there is little to interfere with homeopathy's claim to effectiveness."…

My apologies if this is old news.

Nor do we skeptics sink to the level to which Bolen...accuses Mark Blaxill of marital infidelity
mmm,er, it must be only those pseudoskeptics that resort to the false ad hominem attacks.

Can I take this opportunity to announce the formation of a new campaigning and coordinating organization, to bring together the many hundreds of organizations, and their many dozens of members, into a single representative organization to provide an alternative voice for those of us who know that vaccines cause autism?

Timothy Wakefield-Geier
Autism Science and Society (ASS)

By Passing Thru (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Thanks, Bolen, for continuing to stoke the fires.

This results from a realization that the autism-vaccines hypothesis really has been put to rest, scientifically speaking. The anti-vaxers believed that they had one last chance with the congressional hearing to make a strong case. And that opportunity was lost. It must be clear to all of them that they are losing, and now the finger-pointing has begun. Great news, it is. I, Broken Link, could not be happier.

In another outbreak of hostilities, you might have missed the comments in response to an AoA piece where Dr. Jay Gordon was quoted mildly criticizing St. Andy.

Pass the low salt popcorn, please.

By Broken Link (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

You should be careful how you answer my questions, for, frankly, your future as an organization depends on your answers.

Ooh, threaty. Pass the popcorn. This is better than a Steven Seagal movie.

I am wondering where Barry Segal- with his Focus Autism Inc. org and mountains of money fit into the picture... Hooker and Wright are listed as being on its board.

Bolen believes that the health freedom fighters should take over the movement- and exactly which health freedom fighters would that be, pray tell?
MIke Adams' battalion or Gary Null's contingent? Each has amassed an army of supporters numbering in the hundreds of thousands or millions, respectively. Or so they tell us. Both have written and filmed tirades against vaccines and vowed to use political clout to change laws about them, as well as eventually re-vamp the entire health care system to replace SBM with dreck...worldwide.

Bolen characterises his group as being in the "millions".. perhaps his millions will take on the others' millions and the war will expand.

When I "conversed" with Jake, he informed me that I was never educated about how conspiracies operated.. well, now he's showing us!

Imagine that! The chief shriekers in this opera usually think in a mode that relies on fantasy - that would certainly accelerate the escalation of hostilities..
-btw- Bolen mention both BD and DG and his minions.
Tim, we are only observers- like the ones the UN sends to strife torn regions. Oooops! Now I've gone and mentioned the UN...

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Denice, you might as well bring the Illuminati into it. They're bound to show up, sooner or later.

@ Shay:

We're always here.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Anj @14: That post was new to me. The author's physics is definitely in the "not even wrong" category. Molecules vibrate at certain frequencies. It is unlikely that they tested atomic hydrogen/deuterium because that stuff is reactive; molecular hydrogen/deuterium is more likely. And yes, the higher atomic weight of deuterium does cause a shift in the vibration spectrum. So even if the quoted study is true (this version does not provide the reference), it does not support the claims made in that article.

By Eric Lund (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

I'm not sure I'd like a united anti-vaccine front, even with a lunatic like Bolen at the head. If the 20th century has shown us anything is that all it takes to convert a civilized society into a bunch of mass murdering lunatics is one guy telling them "it's ok, it's for the good of us all". Especially in the US, where a well organized splinter group can have a huge influence via primaries with 20% voter participation. How long until you can't become a bay area congressman without professing anti-vaccine views?
I sleep better with a multitude of groups fighting each other, divide et impera.

Matt Carey at LB/RB has another great post up...featuring another big macher/donator to the Congressional Committee members (just around the time Wakefield was wining and dining them, months before the Autism Hearing took place):…

The "new" wealthy guy, "Dr. Gary" had a case before the Vaccine Court (since discontinued). Am I the only one who is questioning the ethics of the Congressmen (and their wives) who accepted the largesse of disgraced former medical doctor Andy Wakefield...and contributions from wealthy men who are involved with these anti-vaccine groups?

@ Mu:

I doubt that the anti-vaxxers - or alt med advocates- could really unite: much of their zeal is based on self-promotion and self- interest, looking for an avenue for recognition and possible earnings. I doubt that they can work together- too many captains, not enough sailors (notice I avoided the ethnic version of that phrase).

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

"I’ve gone and mentioned the UN…"

Yeah with budget cuts and the move to drones, my UN/Pharma/Illuminati paycheck this month was a slightly used black helicopter. At least it's got cup holders.

I want a copy of Bolen's email to the autism community people he will approach to bing into his "takeover".

"I'm Bolen. I live in a shack in the woods and have no money. You run an organization with a million dollars a year in donations. I propose you let me run things. Health Freedom and all. In return I'll write about you on my website. If you piss me off, I'll slime you and your family online, just so you know."

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

No, no, no. It'll be:

"I, TIM BOLEN, command you to join my Autism Leadership Council, as I, TIM BOLEN, am the awesomest Health Freedom fighter of all."


Quite frankly, I'm getting confused as to who is in the Judean People's Front and who's in the People's Front of Judea. And anyways, what did doctors and their vaccines ever do for us?

By Tom Herling (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Unfortunately, I must bow out: I have to speak with normal people soon and can't possibly sabotage my interaction by putting my mind into the prerequiste gear neccessary in order to write like Bolen. Not sure I want to, either. It might leave a lasting scar.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Bolen characterises his group as being in the “millions”.. perhaps his millions will take on the others’ millions and the war will expand.

It's going to get awfully crowded in that post office box.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Oh my. This is from the Bolen Report:

The Last non-government Speaker - The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne'eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it. Investment Analyst John Best writes in his blog "Debunking Neurodiversity and Ari Ne'eman" about Ne'eman, clearly, and concisely.

John Best an investment analyst!?

inestment analyst.= guy who bets on horse races.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman

Ne'eman is NOT greasy.

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Because I work with students, I can't help but wonder how the juvenile 'journalist' allowed himself to become embroiled in an e-mail-blog civil/ flame war amongst several sputtering, warring factions when he is supposedly nearly at the end of his studies.. now correct me if I am wrong, but don't those who are to receive a graduate degree have to produce an individual thesis, experiment or project? Perhaps this IS his thesis?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink


Who can come up with the best parody of a Patrick “Tim” Bolen rant?

How can one parody a parody? Not sure I can do much better than the original.

@Liz Ditz

John Best an investment analyst!?

Hehe. "Investment analyst" jumped out for you, but for me it was, "clearly and concisely".

And yeah, for rational opinions of people, the first person I turn to is, John "Makes a sailor blush" Best.

@Denice Walter

don’t those who are to receive a graduate degree have to produce an individual thesis, experiment or project?

Generally speaking, yes. And I think our own GW grad has mentioned that the project includes a public presentation of the work.

Oh my goodness. I started laughing out loud at the idea of SOOPER-SEKRIT grants. I don't know how your lab works, but every time my department gets a big grant, there's probably going to be a press release about it. It's very much a mentality of "if you can show you can get big grants and handle them well, you'll continue to get big grants."

Furthermore, what sort of corporation wants to hide that they're giving money to scientific research? That stuff is PR gold!

@ Todd W.:

Do you think that the public presentation will include a Q&A session?
Asking for a friend.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Denice @39, They almost always do barring special circumstances that I have never encountered.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Anj@14, Eric Lund@22:
The paper in question is at…. There's a more recent paper (2013) in PLOS One,…. Luca Turin, a longtime researcher on scent (see Chandler Burr's bio of him: "The Emperor of Scent") and an author on both papers, has long been an advocate of the vibrational theory of olfaction (that the smell of a molecule is dictated by the vibrational frequencies of the molecule) - as opposed to the better-accepted shape theory (that the smell is dictated by the 3-D shape of the molecule). An aspect of the vibrational theory is that, for example, replacement of some or all of the hydrogen atoms of a molecule with deuterium atoms should alter the smell of the molecule, as carbon-deuterium vibrational frequencies differ from carbon-hydrogen vibrational frequencies. Note, of course, that this has nothing to do with "subatomic" vibrations and is no justification for homeopathy - Heidi Stevenson nothwithstanding.

Check it:



I, Patrick called Timothy called Bolen, King Under the Mountain, hereby order you to cease and desist with your slanderiferous discussion of my most revered Health Freedom Fighter self. Submit now or face the wrath of the AUTISM LEADERSHIP COUNCIL, which is my council, run by me, Patrick Patrick bo-batrick, banana-fana fo fatrick, fee-fi-mo matrick, Timmy! Bolen.

Among the many falsehoods being disseminationed on your repellent blog are the snide remarks about my living situation. I DO NOT live in a post office box or a shack in the woods. The PO box is my OFFICE and my residence is beside the dumpster out back. Get your facts straight!!

My phasedown is currently set on "stun," but should you refuse to cooperate, I will set it to "EXTERMINATE" and all the combined might of the FDA, CDC, Sanofi-Aventis and Lord Draconis Zeneca will not be able to save your or your disrespectful minions. EXTERMINATE, EXTERMINATE!!


By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Hello--my name is Timothy Bolen. Your posts have injured my pride. Prepare to be derided...

Test Post.

First--Bolen completely crossed the line with his personal attack on Mr. Blaxill, et al..

Second--there is an organization called "Facing Autism". It was formed in September 2012 by Barry Segal, of "Focus Autism". Nothing in this document about officers.

By Matt Carey (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Let's see if comments are working again....

@Denice Walter

From the GWU web site:

Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience (CE) is a graded course which consists of the following four products that stem from research and practice involving a specific public health issue:

(a) Concept Paper - The concept paper is a brief description of the goals of the proposed study and should outline how it will be performed.
(b) Proposal - The proposal is an expanded version of the concept paper, outlining the study in detail; it can be used for IRB submission.
(c) Final Report or Manuscript - The final Report or Manuscript is a write up of the completed study and analysis which should be written in formal scientific language.
(d) Oral Presentation - The oral presentation is a 20-minute presentation highlighting the key findings of the study and analysis.

Although it is not required, many students choose to link their Practicum and Culminating Experience so that the content of the selected Practicum is linked to the planning and interpretation aspects of the CE. Students may also choose to conduct a Practicum that is independent of their CE; in this case, the Practicum needs to be conducted first and a separate project needs to be identified for the CE.

And from the PDF giving more detail on the culminating experience:

Students are expected to prepare a concise, 20-minute oral presentation using PowerPoint slides. The basic outline of the talk should include a Title Slide, Background, Hypotheses or Objectives, Methods, Results, Summary and/or Conclusions, Recommendations, and Acknowledgments. The number of slides presented should be limited to about 20, as each slide takes about one minute to present. Each presentation will be followed by a 10-minute question and answer session with Department faculty and other students.

So there you have it. This is what will be expected of Master Crosby.

I, lilady, will donate the first prize (***two tickets to attend the Quackfest), for the best parody of Bolen's screed.

***Eligibility For Contest Entry: Employees of *Big Pharma* or their advertising/publicity agents are ineligible. The winner must use their RI "nym on their Quackfest I.D. badge.

Edith Prickly, you are *a contender*.

"All professional degree students must develop skills in basic public health concepts and demonstrate the application of these concepts through a practice experience that is relevant to the students' areas of specialization."

So a valid experience would be to start a new rumour about the motivations of other autism advocates, introduce it into a susceptible population of conspiracy-prone fanatics, and trace its spread and mutation?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Edith Prickly, you are *a contender*.

Needs a play on his trademark phrase "homoskepticals," though.

Lilady @11
I must admit that I said that he might be a cousin half in jest (Fredericton is a small city), but ONLY half in jest. We have a large family on both sides, so I will have a chat with the folks to see if we are connected by blood or marriage with the Doherty family.

Having read some of his writings, I agree with you that he is different from most at AoA or Not-so thinking moms and seems to really care about children with autism... Just terribly misguided.

By Stewartt1982 (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

I erred. The term is actually "homoskeptuals."

@ Stewartt1982: I'm not defending the autism pseudoscience that Mr. Doherty espouses and his attacks on ASD people who have the ability to advocate for higher education and competitive employment opportunities. I am impressed with his activism and advocacy on behalf of his child and other children with ASDs who are also profoundly/severely intellectually impaired with complex medical needs.

It's been a few years since I heard mention of John Best.
As far as I'm concerned he's up there with the most odious in any of the 'Vaccine/Autism' promoters.

If memory serves he subjected his child to repeated Chelating and physically threatened violence to the chap who runs RB/LB.

Am I thinking of the correct pond life?

@ Narad: I read Bolen's rant where he first used that ugly word. What a vile human being he is.

Lilady @53
I know you don't, sorry if I sounded like I thought you did.

I must admit, until yesterday Mr. Doherty was just a name. Having only read a few of his writings, I didn't realise that he attacks ASD people who advocate for higher learning and employment opportunities (now that I know I'm a bit ticked off by Mr. Doherty).

By Stewartt1982 (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

To be entirely clear:

I hope that no one mistakes my queries about degree requirement presentations ( above) as an invocation for sceptics to crash Jake's : perish the thought! Nothing could be further from my mind, I just found it hilarious that he- who has repeatedly barged in on others' public addresses to badger them, could indeed be in the same position himself. I'm sure his professors will question his work enough for all of us. Questioning him might interfere with the wheels of academia that have already been set into motion. And who would want to interfere with the wheels of academia. Not me.

On the other hand, it might be fair game to question any woo-meisters who appear at public events, especially if they are paid speakers and/ or use the platform as self-promotion to sell products, books or services.

Many presenters at AutismOne make a living off of spurious treatments or writing efforts that veer far afield from SBM and I personally think that they ARE fair game. Supposedly, the event promotors screen out known sceptics so if you aren't anonymous, you might get caught. You may possibly have to register in your real name or use real ID or credit cards.

Being only semi-anonymous and thousands of miles away, I certainly cannot do it. I almost wish I could: study in my own area has helped me to develop effective interviewing skills, especially in person.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

If I were evil enough, I'd go get a prepaid cash card under an assumed name to register for Autism One with said assumed name. I'd then show up and let hilarity ensue. But, frankly, I have better things to do with my time. Besides, they'll post their nonsense online, where we can all deconstruct it. Why line their pockets any more?

As for crashing Jake's presentation, I also would recommend against it. For my presentation, one of the founders of the epidemiology department attended and gave me the third degree. He didn't let me get away with a visual trick on a slide. (I was young and stupid, what can I say?) I hope the professors can take him to task if indeed his project takes a turn for the anti-science.

The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it.

Such is Bolen's determination to hi-jack the autism advocacy movement -- sorry, grace it with the benefit of his highly-paid leadership -- that he will not allow himself to be put off by the visceral disgust and contempt he feels for people with autism or AS.
Also reassuring to know that in contrast to the current “Autism leadership problem”, Bolen has no personal stake in the issue -- no autistic relatives -- such as might distract him from his duties.

But "supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network"?? What an odd thing to express suspicion about. Does Bolen drop the word 'supposedly' into his sentences at random, as a form of linguistic MSG, to cultivate the air of someone who will not be led astray by mere facts?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

Does Bolen drop the word ‘supposedly’ into his sentences at random, as a form of linguistic MSG, to cultivate the air of someone who will not be led astray by mere facts?

Um, yes.

Orac, I see your offensive hive of superskeptuals are still speaking ill of I, Patrick Pattycakes Tim-Tim Bolen, Supreme Health Freedom OverLord, I hereby challenge you to a duel - of wits. If you have the guts, meet me with your second (I suggest that Narad fellow, he strikes me as the most expendable of your supposed Oracolytes) at the Myrick Park gun shed in Lacrosse, WI. JC is looking forward to asking you many, many questions.

By Edith Prickly (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

"The person who had the FINAL WORD from the Autism speakers was sneering, greasy-faced, Rolex watch flashing, Ari Ne’eman, supposedly the president of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network who, to me, is a total goofball, and needs to be exposed for it."

Hmmm...must be a *different* Ari Ne'eman...

That howler is for his new BFF/Partner Jake Crosby...whose only *claim to fame* is organizing a speaking engagement for Andy Wakefield at Brandeis. In his dreams, Jake envisions himself as the spokesperson for autistic self-advocates.

@ lilady:

Oh, I thought that Jake was going to dis-entangle and reveal the baroquely intertwined conspiracies that maintained hegemony of the trans-Atlantic medicopharmatocorporatocratic oligarchy.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Denice Walter...That baroquely intertwined conspiracies story that maintained hegemony of the trans-Atlantic medicopharmatocorporatocratic oligarchy, has been played out by Jake...dozens of times.

Meanwhile, back at AoA, Jake's latest gossip that he piped over to being ignored.

#32, 62, etc.

... out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?


do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

Not anti-semitism, but a great deal of dickishness from a crass, olympic class [swearword not posted so that comment not filtered].

By Julian Frost (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

… out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

Hulda Clark, with whom Pattimmy got his start, had a publishing outfit (New Century Press) that published Adοlf Hıtler: Founder of Israel.

If, however, one wants the mother lode, the Jews are keeping a lid on ibogaine.

… out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

I read it as a general sense of envy directed at anyone who has shiny things which Bolen feels he should have, rather than anything as specific as anti-semitism.

Someone else owns a valuable wristwatch? That other person is "Rolex-flashing" (evidently Bolen pays close attention to such things).
Other people fly the world when he is living in a shack? Trigger the grievance: "Mark and Jennifer (Ken and Barbie) travel together, endlessly".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 05 Mar 2013 #permalink

#67 @Narad Oh lord, I think I just lost 10 IQ points reading that.

That page should be banned by the Geneva Convention.

I just re-read Bolen's article and was struck by a few phrases:
- CoMeD " had, through persistence, put the discussion of mercury in vaccines before the UNEP"
- "SafeMInds' representative at the UNEP meeting, Executive Director Eric Ulam"
- SafeMind's representative at the IACC
- Blaxill's testimony at the congressional hearing

which jogs my memory about Hooker's and AJW's meetings with congressmen and John Stone's mentioning governmental committees ( and probably calling his MP every other day, I'd venture) .

Does it disturb anyone else that these people have the ear of those in national and international governing bodies?

I know that if you have a representative government you have the right to contact your rep but it sounds to me like these groups may actually have someone listening to them.

What a scary thought that is.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 Mar 2013 #permalink

I've been posting regularly on science blogs about the wining and dining of Congressmen and their wives by Wakefield and Brian Hooker, ever since Dachel's "interview" with Brian Hooker's appeared on AoA:

"Brian explained how he became involved in the hearing.

"....My initial thanks go to Dr. Mark Geier and David Geier, who strategically linked me up with a friend of theirs, who in turn has become my good friend as well. Through the work of this individual, Dr. Andrew Wakefield and I were invited to meet with Rep. Darrell Issa, Rep. Vern Buchanan and their wives in early May, 2012 to discuss malfeasance in the CDC regarding autism and vaccines. Andy discussed the MMR vaccine and the vaccine schedule. I talked specifically about thimerosal and the cover-up of CDC data that affirm a causal relationship between thimerosal and neurodevelopmental disorders including autism. Rep. Issa was concerned regarding the CDC information and stated that this was the type of government misconduct that his committee (Oversight and Government Reform) specifically addressed...."

IMO, Mark Geier and SafeMinds were exaggerating their importance and their *progress* with their testimonies at the UNEP hearing, to have Thimerosal banned from multi-dose vaccines. I believe the expression is *blowing smoke up posteriors".

Now, using an important (unknown) Republican supporter to get Congressmen to meet with Wakefield and Hooker, (and to accept Wakefield's wining and dining largesse), reeks of violations of Congressional ethics. Matt Carey at LB/RB in a series of recent posts has uncovered some Republican machers who *might be* the influential Republican(s) who arranged for the meetings and the wining and dining of the Congressmen and their wives.

I've met with members of Congress and there is a whole vetting process through their legislative aides. So how did Andy and Hooker get their meetings and how did they get their dinner dates with the Congressmen and their wives?

You're going to love this.

Jake Crosby and Patrick "Tim" Bolen have posted at AoA...without linking to Bolen's latest screed. Denise Ferraro, another poster provided the link. Obviously she didn't read the new Bolen slime that she linked to, and the piece of tawdry gossip provided by Jake and repeated by Bolen, that Mark Blaxill is sexually involved with one of his Canary Party pals. Denise Ferraro also *missed* another piece of Bolen's rant, that Mrs. Blaxill is incensed and threatened to create a major scene by confronting Blaxill during the Hearing.

It makes me *wonder* why John Stone posts a nice comment back at Bolen. WTF?…

@lilady - the subtext of John Stone's reply is anything but "nice" - very passive-aggressive, actually.

Passive-aggressive, Lawrence? Okay. But what about this latest comment of Jake's back at Stone?

"John, the following paragraph you quoted was not in Mark's testimony; he edited it out:

'A CDC analyst also discovered in 1999 that higher levels of infant exposure to a mercury compound in vaccines increased autism risk more than tenfold relative to zero exposure. The analyst wrote about this result to his supervisors: “It just won’t go away,” he said. But he and his colleagues used more statistical tricks and published a finding that made the risk go away.'

Figures, SafeMinds sat on the above information for years, whereas the person who actually discovered it was David Geier. To cite Geier's finding would draw more attention to that embarrassing fact."

They need to change the name to "AoA Open-Air Laundry".

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Mar 2013 #permalink

The needed to put a leash and muzzle on Jake...years ago...instead of giving him the power to slime respected doctors, researchers, scientists and science bloggers.

All of the editors, columnists and guest columnists needed to take some basic courses in journalistic ethics and basic science.

@ Rebecca:

Although I imagine that 95% of their hyperbole is in the service of prevarication, it's the other 5% I worry about.
And the ANH lobbyists.

@ lilady:

Bolen, like other alt media loons, brags about the huge audience his cohorts enjoy ( Oh where oh where have I heard that before?) : interestingly enough, the entire fraternity has recently appeared at the Health Freedom Expo 2013 ( see website) and will take the show on the road: the speakers last weekend included the lovely Andy.
Jake may be wishing that he'll eventually become a presenter at these events. Aim high, young creature!

@ Lawrence:
For some reason, John was extremely cordial to yours truly- I still can't figure that out.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Denice Walter: Lawrence and I have been *exceptionally cordial* to John Stone.

Halle-o lilady,

Horta-Barbosa and Mantooth would like to speak with you.



Halle/SSPE ???

While it is fun to see bickering in antivax loon-land, a limiting factor is the compulsion among these folks to present a unified front, no matter how off-base, repulsive and paranoid their allies are.

While open, vigorous and at times heated debate is viewed as a strength in the scientific/evidence-based community, it's abhorred on the other side of the fence. I'd be surprised if the current antivax wrangling doesn't die down soon for this reason.

You've gotta march together (hold your nose at your companions' excesses if you must, but don't make waves), lest They exploit your differences.

By Dangerous Bacon (not verified) on 06 Mar 2013 #permalink


Halle/SSPE ???

It looks like another Thingy sock.

She is upset that in those particular papers the vaccine measles strain was more than likely from lab contamination.

@ Chris: That's two of us who believe that Thingy's sock puppet is haunting RI. Lately, deranged Troll has been fixated on measles virus and SSPE.

Recently Thingy was posting on AoA. Did they ban her there? Wow Thingy, you've been banned at MDC AND now AoA!!!

It looks like another Thingy sock.

Yup, and it has failed badly with this effort, as usual.

@ Dangerous Bacon:

Oh dangerous one:
I can't help but think that their current squabbling and bickering might give some of their followers insight into the personalities involved.

Since they don't rely upon data or expertise to differentiate themselves, they need to present individual personal characteristics, including qualities like being charitable, altruistic and hard working- the children's sake; this argumentive soap opera reveals self-serving amateurs forever in search of the limelight wherever they can find it- their motives aren't as pure as they claim and this whole episode makes that extremely clear to observers.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 06 Mar 2013 #permalink

open, vigorous and at times heated debate is viewed as a strength in the scientific/evidence-based community

It's always Reviewer 3!

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 06 Mar 2013 #permalink

heer doktor bimler -

"It’s always Reviewer 3!"

I've seen a few hard-hitting opinion/review pieces too. (One by Dan Grauer on the ENCODE project is a recent example. [I thought it could have been better written, but YMMV, etc. - JMO.])

In other Internecine War news:

Jake returns to AoA to comment, enlightening John about why Tim is indeed correct that neither Mark nor Lyn are effective advocates while praising John's own efforts.

It seems that Mark never mentioned the obvious culprits: vaccines and Thorsen, and Lyn merely enabled Insel's prevarication ( i.e. she didn't shriek "Fraudulent research!" about mercury).

John is not pleased and advises readers to listen to Mark's testimony again: he was nervous you see.

I always wanted to be a gossip columnist.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 07 Mar 2013 #permalink

Denice, it gets even more interesting over at AoA. Hitler is evoked. Because Big Pharma is just like Hitler ;)


Mark Blaxill's audience already knew what he was going to say or what he could have said or what Brian Hooker intended to say (which is why they stopped him). Congress, et all, could have written these presentations themselves. They knew. They know. They choose to do nothing. They are there to placate and obstruct. The proof is in the many years of inaction.

I am not suggesting that anyone become violent or that anyone break any laws when I say that what is influencing Congress is no less evil and much more insidious than Hitler. Could Hitler have been stopped by blogging, sitting on committees and with occasional, well written, heart felt presentations? No. He would have plowed through with his agenda unfettered. That's what we're seeing with vaccines, with the AAP fighting to keep thimerosol in vaccines for developing countries, with vaccine marketing and administration practices and flawed, inadequate safety testing exactly as they were, even with autism court cases blaming MMR being won, vaccine expansion moves full speed ahead with hundreds of new vaccines in development and aggressive legislative mandates appearing all over the US.

I posted about Nestle in the 1970s to make the point that Pharma is an industry that has, without conscience, deliberately caused the cruel death by starvation and disease of millions of babies for profit. This is the depraved criminal mentality that you're dealing with. It is understandable that some have a hard time accepting this depressing reality. It is very hard to internalize.

If you're asking me what then, to do, I'm sorry, I don't know. I just think it's obvious that these committees and blogging isn't going to be enough to stop them.

Posted by: Linda | March 07, 2013 at 12:01 PM

By Broken Link (not verified) on 07 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Linda

"I am not suggesting that anyone become violent or that anyone break any laws when I say that what is influencing Congress is no less evil and much more insidious than Hitler. Could Hitler have been stopped by blogging, sitting on committees and with occasional, well written, heart felt presentations? No. He would have plowed through with his agenda unfettered. That’s what we’re seeing with vaccines, with the AAP fighting to keep thimerosol in vaccines for developing countries, with vaccine marketing and administration practices and flawed, inadequate safety testing exactly as they were, even with autism court cases blaming MMR being won, vaccine expansion moves full speed ahead with hundreds of new vaccines in development and aggressive legislative mandates appearing all over the US."

How about staying on topic Linda?

You can, I assume, defend your statements about the *dangers* associated with the use of the organomercury compound Thimerosal in multi-dose vials of vaccine.

How about discussing the differences between Thimerosal used as a preservative and inorganic mercury and elemental Hg and their effects on the central nervous system?

Where are those cases of children being awarded damages by the Vaccine Court because a vaccine/series of vaccines caused autism?

I am not suggesting that anyone become violent or that anyone break any laws
...The disclaimer is unconvincing when the argument proceeds to "committees and blogging isn’t going to be enough to stop them", i.e. nothing short of violence or breaking some laws will make any difference against HITLER.

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 07 Mar 2013 #permalink

You'll notice that both Jake and Tim are using AoA comments as a platform for their own position/s. As usual, Orac & Cie are insulted but the lack of civility doesn't stop at the sceptics' door.

Why would Bolen get involved? He has a website and is a participant in "Health Freedom Expos". Last year he spoke ( ranted?) at AutismOne- perhaps he saw greener fields of alt med entranced folk and a new audience for himself.

I have heard ( via prn) that last year a well-known woo-meister with an audience of his own was courted to join in the coalition of alt med leaders ; another alt media entrepreneur appeared at the conference but wasn't involved last weekend. There's another Expo in Chicago right after Autism One.

It seems to me that all of the principals are looking to expand their own audiences - because people have money.
There is competition for general woo - the alt media prevaricators expand into new territory ( including economics and politics) to entice more listeners/ readers who may then, grateful for the enlightenment, scurry over to their websites' store and purchase phytonutrient supplements, freeze-dried organic produce and other over-priced, unnecessary goods.

Anti-vaccination groups have proliferated but aim their so-called information at a smaller segment of the population; Blaxill ( and especially the Canaries) have attempted to grow their audience by talking about chronic illnesses resultant from modernity that affect both children and adults: that "54%" figure they toss around is larger than autism's.

Thus, anti-vaxxers are looking beyond autism and woo-meisters want to add anti-vaccinationists to their lot. Most tell their audiences that Big Pharma is money-obsessed.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 08 Mar 2013 #permalink

Dan Olmsted at AoA has posted an editorial...using prior comments about the internecine war started by Jake Crosby who fed Bolen. There's only one comment from "Ottoschnaut" who is defending Jake and blaming Bolen and Hooker.

Where's Blaxill?

Why are they defending Jake?

@ lilady:

The current internecine antics are entertaining : a battle of the twits, I mean, *wits*.

This is such a pleasant diversion from my other internet activties which include ((shudder)) a new financial task. My friend and I had invested in an enterprise which made us a great deal of money over the past years but has now been purchased by another company- thus a quandary: should we stay or should we go? The ex also bought some-now, for some arcane reason yours truly has been elected to research this monstrosity; the others are presently sitting back, crying real tears and wailing in Gaelic.
My friend will help eventually. But right now, I'm flying solo.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 08 Mar 2013 #permalink

@Denise / lilady - I'm not sure how anyone is supposed to read, much less comprehend that "wall of text" that got posted....

Why would Bolen get involved?

Does he have anything else to do?


She is upset that in those particular papers the vaccine measles strain was more than likely from lab contamination.

Huh?! What idiot would put a "suspected contaminant" up in the measles virus lineage hierarchy?

Chris is so blinded she doesn't even know what a "contaminant" is. Of course, it often happens to those who resorts to Orac's infamous "toxin gambit" gambit.

Get a clue. Avian leukosis virus sequences found in the measles vaccine.

Chris is barking up the wrong tree as usual.

Go away Thingy. You are a repetitive inane bore.

Thingy, the human vaccine (inoculating people against antivax lies with idiocy no one could believe) is posting here again. Her efforts to mock prodisease forces are appreciated.

Whatever happened to "barking up the wrong squirrel"?

By herr doktor bimler (not verified) on 08 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Lawrence:

Since they believe that AoA's material is like unto the holy writ , it's bad form to complain too much about spacing and paragraphs.

@ Narad:

I'm sure that commanding "millions of health freedom fighters" can't take up all of his time.

I truly wish someone over there would say something clever.
Material based predominantly of fantasy should at least be more entertaining reading.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 08 Mar 2013 #permalink

My friend and I had invested in an enterprise which made us a great deal of money over the past years but has now been purchased by another company- thus a quandary: should we stay or should we go?

If you go there will be trouble, and if you stay it will be double.

And the brawl continues with Olmsted’s latest “From the Editor” column at “Age”.

There's nothing that says "former journalist" like a poorly reformatted copy-and-paste job from a C-SPAN transcript.

and the most recent comment on that other thread was made by Bolen?

Patty's Latin is abysmal.

From what we see from over here in the Health Freedom Movementis

You've got to read the new dreck on AoA today about a new study that proves that Wakefield is innocent and should prevail in his pending Texas defamation lawsuit.

It's a howler.

(@ Narad:
tease, tease, tease.)

At any rate, Timothy Pat seems to believe that he can unify the warring factions- oddly, Gary Null is claiming that he can do the same for alt med; Adams has already claimed victory for alt media's defeat of global corporatocracy concerning GMOs; the Thinking Moms declare that vaccines are another case of 'tobacco science'- and on their way out . AJW is exonerated.

It's called "rallying the troops".
Leaders of these fringe movements know that having far out positions on material wherein science has already weighed in with entirely different conclusions can be wearing to followers' souls**. So they intermittenly create encouraging messages- "Victory is just around the corner".

Especially in the case of AJW: how many times have we heard that either a study, a legal decision or a revelation about one of his opponents' secrets will overturn the sad tale of the past 10 years wherein he was found out, cast out and left out of mainstream thought?

They're sound very positive because they are very worried.
The antivaccination movement is apparently shredding into splinters headed by individuals with personal MOs, individualised foci of interest and solipcistic vendettas.

** not that I believe in souls- it's a figure of speech.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink feel good to return on the antic between Master Crosby and the AoA gang after being back from rehabilitation therapy.


"The new dreck on AoA", that I referred to above. Notice how the *dreck* refers to Wakefield as the "Autism Media Channel Director". (I'd like to think that some of my many posts on science blogs where I refer to Andy as the co-owner, with Polly Tommey, of the Autism Media Channel, has had an effect).…

One of the researchers on that newly published study is Arthur Krigsman, who has his own page on the Autism Media Channel website. Krigsman has "expanded" his practice; New York, Austin Texas, and now, Sofia Bulgaria.!dr-arthur-krigsman-md---gi-services…

The reaction of over at AoA is amusing, for several reasons.

First, I really like the quote from Wakefield that is included in the article:

Speaking from his home in Austin, Texas, Dr. Wakefield said, “there can be very little doubt that vaccines can and do cause autism. In these children, the evidence for an adverse reaction involving brain injury following the MMR that progresses to an autism diagnosis is compelling. It’s now a question of the body count.”

The reason that I like it so much is that the new Walker paper does not mention MMR, measles, or vaccines. I suppose that the editor at AoA thought that his readers wouldn’t notice or wouldn’t mind that that quote is completely unrelated to the scientific work that is the subject of the article.

I also wonder why AoA aficionados are so excited to learn that gene expression in diseased or inflamed tissue differs from that in normal tissue.

However, the most remarkable fact is that AoA readers are so excited that gene expression varies between the ASD group and between normal controls. Since vaccination was not mentioned, and since it is quite unlikely that the randomly-selected normal control group would have consisted of unvaccinated children, the logical conclusion is that children with ASD and children without ASD are genetically different. From the AoA perspective, that is certainly an OWN GOAL.

@ Brian: One of the commenters at AoA is asking for the *Dummies* version/interpretation of the study. :-)

How interesting, that the new study was entirely funded by the Jane Botsford Johnson Foundation:

Didn't Wakefield's study, that was published then retracted by Lancet, claim that the measles vaccine strain contained in the MMR vaccine, was found in the bowel specimens? Where are all those bowel specimens? Why did Wakefield refuse to replicate those findings, when the Royal Free Hospital made that request?

"However, the most remarkable fact is that AoA readers are so excited that gene expression varies between the ASD group and between normal controls. Since vaccination was not mentioned, and since it is quite unlikely that the randomly-selected normal control group would have consisted of unvaccinated children, the logical conclusion is that children with ASD and children without ASD are genetically different. From the AoA perspective, that is certainly an OWN GOAL."

There is no limit to the contradictions that the AOA crowd can swallow - after all, they are fervent in their support of Wakefield, whose faked-up data was intended to prove that the MMR causes autism, and equally supportive of the idea that thimerosal (a substance never included in the MMR) causes autism, which is like believing both that the Queen is responsible for Diana's death, and that Diana isn't really dead at all.

I'm sitting in Reagan National waiting for my flight home, having just given a talk on quackademic medicine to the National Capital Area Skeptics. Guess who showed up? As expected, Jake showed. He sat in the back and finally asked his question. Basically, he harped on the Mississippi numbers, trying to claim that I "broke my promise" in 2005 that if autism prevalence started falling after thimerosal was removed from vaccines I would reconsider my rejection of the hypothesis. I'm not real familiar with those numbers (maybe I should have seen this coming), but I pointed out that it's just one state and asked him what was happening to autism prevalence everywhere else. I also asked him what the average age of diagnosis for autism is (you know, around 3 years) and how far out we are from when thimerosal was removed from vaccines (11 or 12 years). Finally, the audience got tired of his filibustering and declared his time over.

Next up, Jake approached me at the "after party." He harped on Poul Thorsen and how he was supposedly the PI of the Danish studies. I pointed out how he was right in the middle of the pack of authors, meaning he was not the corresponding or first author of the studies. He tried to make hay about an article from Andrew Weil's group in which Weil was the second of three authors and I pointed out how I saw this as Weil's paper. I'll give him that; he was fairly clever there. In any case, I basically told him he didn't know what he was talking about, after which he said I was lying about Poul Thorsen and I told him we were done. I walked away to mingle with others.

You know, my original plan was to kill him with kindness, but the dude was so annoying that I just couldn't do it. I'm afraid I let some of my peevishness show. Oh, well. The NCAS videotaped the entire talk, including the Q & A. When it goes live, you guys can tell me if I handled myself OK.

[Crosby] harped on the Mississippi numbers, trying to claim that I “broke my promise” in 2005 that if autism prevalence started falling after thimerosal was removed from vaccines I would reconsider my rejection of the hypothesis.

I suspect that Jake harped on the data from Alabama, rather than from Mississippi. The most recent data showed that ASD dropped there--driven by a 40% decrease among African American kids.

Crosby is likely the only person who believes that the decrease in ASD in a minority population in Alabama reflects anything other than a problem in case ascertainment.

BTW, it's too bad that you didn't ask Crosby whether the prevalence of ASD in Denmark actually continued to increase or actually decreased after Thorsen received that famously redacted e-mail message. It's interesting that in Denmark influenza vaccination is not recommended for children or pregnant women, so the observed increase compared to the days before thimerosal was banned there can't be blamed on flu shots.


I'm sure you did better than I would :-)

D'oh. I meant to say Alabama. Oh, well. Brain fart. Of course, now that Jake's called my attention to this issue...:-)

Anyone willing to pitch in to my fundraiser to go to AutismOne? I'm dead serious about going there and ask your questions and I promise I'll read every d_wn publications needed to probe your questions and you can bet your ass off that I will meet Master Crosby.

One key point I want to stress is that if I had the personal money to go (to cover airplane and a cheap hotel), I would do it but at this moment, I couldn't be more broke in my life...


p.s. if sufficient demand, I will have a paypal link by monday.

@ Orac, I wanted to make a comment on the other post that Jake would probably show up. C'mon, one of his nemeses in town and he is fired up with his new found alliance with PattiTimmy? I would imagine that nearly everyone who comes into contact with Jake finds him annoying so I wouldn't let that bother you.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

Anyone willing to pitch in to my fundraiser to go to AutismOne? I’m dead serious about going there and ask your questions and I promise I’ll read every d_wn publications needed to probe your questions and you can bet your ass off that I will meet Master Crosby.

Alain, I would be interested however I would caution you against going in there confrontational. And by that I mean that you could read and fully understand every single publication on the subject but as soon as you challenge them, even politely they would go Neanderthal on you. Not to mention they toss anyone they feel is a hostile force. I don't know how Seth Mnookin got away with it.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

So Jake is just a student? Online he acts as if he is an experienced physician expressing such great objections as if derived from years of experience. He's just some student with a computer?

What Science Mom state above!!!

Orac, I would not have been so inclined to speak with Jake, in light of the prior vicious personal attacks and cyber-stalking behaviors directed at you.

Alain, stay away from the Quackfest. Their fondest wish would be to create a scene with anyone who is not vetted "as a friend to the cause".

“The new dreck on AoA”, that I referred to above.

This piece is odd in several ways. Leaving aside that the first reference link is broken, one might note the inconsistency of "Dr. Andrew Wakefield is a best selling author,⁹ " given that all the other references are clumsy lowercase roman numerals. Now, a search on this text pulls up exactly four references, AoA, JABS, Robert Scott Bell, and... Wikipedia. Somebody (, a San Antonio SBC IP) promptly attempted to add this to the Wakefield WP page.

OT, but about the presentation. How many people have seen this page about Reiki from the Cleveland Clinic? What a scam! The keyword must be "may" - Reiki "may" do these things. A more definitive explanation would be: Reiki "will" line the pockets of the practitioner with cash while their doctor is deceiving their patients.…

The Cleveland Clinic says that Reiki may,

detoxify the body
supply universal life-force energy to the body
stimulate the body’s immune system
stimulate tissue and bone healing after injury or surgery
increase the vibrational frequency of the client on physical, mental, emotional and spiritual levels

It's astounding the amount of bogus junk a hospital is allowed to sell. Whatever happened to medical ethics? I'm thinking about the whole placebo-based medicine issue as well. At a minimum, those practicing placebo-based medicine should have their patients sign a disclaimer granting permission for their doctor to 'treat' them with lies and deceptions. Patients are requested to disclose religious preferences, DNR preferences, why not an agreement for lies and deceptions?

Alain - Don't go.

okay, I won't go and I have to admit that IMFAR 2013 might be a better place anyway.

Alain (still peeved).

If you just said hello to Jake it would be written up at AoA' "David Gorksi could barely manage to squeek out two words through his sneer of contempt..." Followed by 2000 words of Jake regurgitating his previous conspiracy theories and poor logic.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

Prevalence went up by 60% in Colorado and 80% in Florida. That's because the illuminati added thimerosal to the vaccines in those states. But they figured, "why waste time on Alabama? Thimerosal doesn't seem to work there anyway. They always had a low prevalence. "

Damn the lazy Illuminati.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

As for "best-selling" per se, LBRB has covered this. Slate reported at one point that "Wakefield's new book rocketed into Amazon's list of best-selling parenting titles." This was six months before LBRB's report, so the rocketing appears to have been to Pyongyang standards.

I still don't understand how the thimerosal we were all squirting into our eyes and soaking our contact lenses in all through the 1980's is totally ignored by the Mercury Militia, while the tiny amount in an intramuscular injection is considered catastrophic.

Oh wait-- the difference, of course, is "OMG A NEEDLE!!!!"

By Melissa G (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

Besides the study not having anything to do with Wakefield's work (except in his revisionist assertion that he's the first to notice that children with autism have digestive systems), I'd like to see this work replicated by someone with a track record of quality research.

Walker is the guy who supposedly replicated Wakefield 8 years ago (the story that pops up occasionally on a UK newspaper site)

Gonzalez worked with Wakefield and is funded by Wakefield.

Krigsman is krigsman. Former thoughtful house employee. Problems with his old hospital for doing research without irb approval and without informing the patients.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

Orac: " I basically told him he didn't know what he was talking about"...

Isn't it great to be able to just come out and say that to someone? I got the chance myself today.** My cohorts thought me brilliant.

I personally might have punctuated my own comment to Jake with gales of laughter and ended with, "Come out of your dream world before your antivaccinationist fear-mongering harms children or entirely destroys whatever minute chance that you might still have for a respectable career."

G-d, he's so jealous of people with real expertise and ability!
That's why he hates them so much.

-btw- I'm sure that this encounter will be written up in unlovely purple prose and will grace whatever alt med/ antivax website that tolerates him. Titled perhaps," Dr G
once again evades my question", " DG lies" or suchlike.

** a person was talking about investment ideas from Porter Stansberry !!!!!-

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

Actually, I wish I had laughed. I sort of did. In any case, After I told him he didn't know what he was talking about he asked me if I knew who he was. I said that of course I knew who he was. That's why I knew he didn't know what he was talking about. He then started accusing me of lying, at which point I said simply, "We're done here," and walked away to mingle with other visitors.

I'm reminded somehow of Steve Martin's response to hecklers - "Yeah, I remember my first beer".

By Mephistopheles… (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ lilady:

I am quite familiar with it!

Hilariously - someone mentioned PS's stock tips/ economic theories!!!!!
China, gold, economic Ragnarok! I had great fun with that!

I almost wish that he had brought up Gerald Celent because my take on him might even be funnier.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 09 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Denice Walter: Then there was that proposal for wage earners to opt out of Social Security, so that all the savvy investors would be able to play the markets...just before the 2007 crash. No different then the other proposal to opt out of Medicare...because insurance companies are clamoring to insure the oldsters. :-)

I would not be surprised if your "after party" conversation with Jake is transcribed almost verbatim by him. I would not be surprised if he recorded you. Remember his conversation at Panera in Philly? Remember how well he remembered it all? His fans kept asking how he remembered it all so well, but he never answered them.

Of course, he wasn't stalking you, Orac. He lives in the DC area, you're the one that traveled there!


20 minute presentation and only a 10 minute Q&A session?

I'm jealous.


I had a 30 minute presentation and got grilled for nearly an hour for my Master's degree.

10 piddly little minutes?


Oh, man, Lilady, Merthiolate was THE BEST!!! It was the most non-stinging antiseptic a cut could receive! I was rather devastated when it was pulled. After that it was isopropyl alcohol that went into my scrapes, and that was just no fun at all! And hey, that Merthiolate went straight into the blood, too.

But no magic eebil needle, so I guess it was just fine. ;)

By Melissa G (not verified) on 10 Mar 2013 #permalink


Let's not forget that compounds like Merthiolate and Mercurochrome were 0.1% mercury, where the thimerosal in vaccines is 0.01%

I can say I came home with skinned knees/elbows, etc to be washed, rinsed and disinfected at least 1000 times more often than I had any vaccines with thimerosal.

I agree with Ren: he's probably recording.

Orac's appearance couldn't have come at a better time for Jake:
AoA is currently in disarray - quite representative of the entire multifarious antivax movement itself and possibly partially attributable to Jake's own recent activities.

What better way to 'earn his keep' there- and elsewhere- but to present a scathing portrait of the enemy in order to distract readers from their squabbles and unite them? And to gain attention for himself.

Orac who-
has continuously written voluminously about AJW, AoA and Jake,
is often hilarious and intentionally so,
has amassed a core group of devoted SB minions and readers,
has visitors who also populate AoA's enemies list
is an actual researcher, lecturer and physician
can speak, write and dress well.

There will be a devastating, no-holds-barred expose describing the encounter in precise, painstaking detail, as only Jake can provide: he will play the part of the intrepid investigative reporter and Orac will be FOUND OUT! And revealed in all of his pharma-funded glory!

Jake will then become an instant hero- a mini Andy- and will be lauded and applauded for his work, everyone will forget their differences and unite. Speaking engagements and book offers will flood his in-box. Perhaps even an internet radio show.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 10 Mar 2013 #permalink

"Remember how well he remembered it all? "

No idea. I wasn't there. I can't say if he subtly or not so subtly changed the words. It will be interesting to compare Jake's version to that of someone whom I trust.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 10 Mar 2013 #permalink

Rony, he quoted the heck out of the whole exchange. He either has a photographic/auditory memory, kept real good notes the whole time, or recorded it.

I'd be interested to know your source's version of events.

@ Denice, I too have no doubt that a classic Jake screed about how he sent his nemesis "running away from him" is in the works right now. I doubt he'll ever be willing to distinguish what he perceives as triumph over his marks from what is actually annoyance and dismissiveness from them.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 10 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Science Mom:

He seems to follow an " I came, I saw, I aggravated" format. Fortunately, as our esteemed and gracious host notes, there is tape for our viewing.. er, pleasure.

Interestingly, you'll notice that he never seems to get enough, does he? He continues persuing his various quarry ( IIRC, Drs Offit and Godlee- and Orac) well after the Q&A.

Would anyone care to bet on how long it takes him to get a post up @ AoA or elsewhere?
I wonder if he'll take a cue from AoA's observer at LaCrosse
and sprinkle his tale with juvenile insults about the speaker.
I also wonder if he would be bold enough to show up here.

Perhaps he'll ask us about how we aportion shares in Orac's fabled pharma loot.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 10 Mar 2013 #permalink

He seems to follow an ” I came, I saw, I aggravated” format.

Perhaps "Veni, vidi, vulgavi." Or "vomui," whatever.

Hmmm, I'm more inclined now to believe that Jake's career will be at Bolen's newsletter, cranking out more and more conspiracy articles. He'll be able to work from his home office in mommy's attic.

Denice, we warned him about those conspiracy articles, cyber-stalking and physical stalking, but not in my wildest dreams did I ever think he would turn on Blaxill and his colleagues at AoA.

Jake might be awarded a MPH-Epidemiology degree, but he will NEVER be an epidemiologist.

He seems to follow an ” I came, I saw, I aggravated” format.

That is awesome.

I had a thought about our host's "conversation' with Jake. If Jake was able to spot Orac's use of a "Weil study" (an author in the middle of the pack in a publication) as erroneous, then what does that say of his own repeated flogging of "Thorsen's studies" that were not "his studies" at all? I think in Jake's attempt to be clever he revealed his own blatant dishonesty.

By Science Mom (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

He tried to make hay about an article from Andrew Weil’s group in which Weil was the second of three authors and I pointed out how I saw this as Weil’s paper.

Granted, there's a pretty big difference between being in the middle of the pack when there are only three authors and being in the middle of the pack when there are 5, 6 or 7 authors. In the first, the middle author may be a minor contributor or co-first author or some other major contributor. In the latter, it's pretty much guaranteed they played a more minor role.

Actually, the one mistake I made was in not also pointing out that there's a huge difference between an editorial (which is what the Weil paper was) and a real epidemiological study presenting primary data.

Denice, I too have no doubt that a classic Jake screed about how he sent his nemesis “running away from him” is in the works right now.

Well, I don't see how one has another choice. If someone calls me a liar to my face, I really see no point in addressing him further. True, I did say first that he didn't know what he was talking about (no doubt he'll claim he was provoked), but that's an accusation of ignorance not dishonesty, and one that I can amply support. Actually, I rather suspect that by saying that I rattled Jake enough that he forgot himself and dropped the polite act. It makes it a bit harder to convincingly play the poor, abused, put-upon free speech martyr if your victim/target lets you say your piece for longer than other people who asked questions and talked to him after the lecture and then only dismisses you when you call him a liar.

There were some problems with the sound; so they're doing some post-processing. They also asked me for my slides so that they could edit it to do voice over slides where appropriate.

Well, thank you. My elitist education allows me to work on perfecting my artform daily.

If someone calls you a liar or accuses you of any malfeasance, you should immediately walk away from them and not give them any more of your time. They are both crass and gauche.

I once described how a friend's awful relative said something insulting to me: my late father suggested that I should have first thrown my drink in the guy's face prior to my exit. He was probably correct.

He once dismissed his argumentive brother on the phone by asking him to "Write me a letter. Tell me all about it."

We should note that in antivax and/ or alt media circles, comments like that are as common as saying "Hello" or "Goodbye". Actually amongst those I survey, calling professionals liars and thieves is a basic mode of conversation.

I venture that Jake will elaborate and/ or distort whatever actions or language our host used in their encounter. The entire episode will be written up and presented to his admiring audience- wherever he might find them these days. Mark's place or Tim's? Your guess is as good as mine.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

@Denice, Some 'professionals' are liars and thieves. 'Tis difficult not to call them such. (not speaking about Orac here).

@ S:

If a professional ( doctor, lawyer et al) is TRULY a liar and a thief, don't you think that that's a job for the authorities ( police, medical boards etc) not for personal conversation?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ S: Many of the "professionals" that Jake slavishly adores and pimps for, ARE liars and thieves, who have lost their credibility and their medical licenses. :-)

Jake might be awarded a MPH-Epidemiology degree

Shame on his university if he is.

Medical boards in some states only investigate licensed practitioners. Unlicensed 'practitioner' investigations and complaints are passed down to local authorities, who are too busy with other types of crimes such as robberies, traffic, drug-related, etc. There seems to be no effective means of pursuing a complaint against those that 'practice' without a license. Furthermore, while the medical boards are investigating a complaint, which can take many, many years, the practitioner may continue to speak publicly and sell their bogus and/or dangerous treatments to others. At times, it is difficult to speak using more polite words, instead of calling them liars and crooks.

I think that Jake believes himself to be an intrepid reporter relentlessly pursuing stealthy, sceptical vaccinators - I'm surprised he didn't bring his camera crew along with him.
Can't you just visualise that now?

As I've mentioned before, Jake personally informed me that I didn't at all understand conspiracies.

Yes, my universities left that out: I don't imagine that every study I read results from a massive imbroglio of sculduggery conceived and managed in order to satisfy the entrenched, monetary interests of prevaricators:
only Wakefield's and a few of his supporters.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

"... rattled Jake enough that he forgot himself and dropped the polite act."

He knows some limits, but I don't think "polite act" is the phrase I would apply. He provokes. It's a cheap trick. He got it to work once. Is he surprised that you didn't get angry? Let's see, you go to DC and give a publicized talk on a weekend day. Surprise! Jake shows up. He corners you after the talk. Surprise again! He tries to push your buttons. Dang, that's just so many surprises. Who would have ever predicted he'd do that?

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

True, that. My original plan was to kill him with exaggerated kindness if he showed up, but, as I said before, he was just so damned annoying that I had difficulty doing it. OK, so I'm human, my 'nym notwithstanding. I did, however, manage to take my time getting to him at the Q&A.

In any case, I must admit that I should have seen the question about Alabama coming. Someone told me Jake had attacked me as having "admitted that mercury causes autism" a while back, and I do remember skimming the AoA post in which he did that. I considered it too dumb to bother responding to, which should tell you how bad it was, and promptly forgot about it. Quite frankly, I didn't bother to think much about Jake because I was much more worried about modifying and updating my talk so that it would be significantly better than the last time I gave it. That, and learning stuff at the Society of Surgical Oncology meeting, which was the main reason I was in the DC area, as well as hooking up with old friends and colleagues.

In retrospect, my main regret is that I didn't look over at Jake's face during the part of my talk where I discussed clinical equipoise and used a vaxed vs, unvaxed RCT as an example of a study that would be unethical because of lack of clinical equipoise. I'm guessing that would have been comedy gold. That, and that I didn't ask him how it felt to have betrayed his friends. :-)

Perhaps Jake doesn't believe that he has betrayed them: he merely ENLIGHTENED them.

Since he goes around questioning people he doesn't like, it might be fair if we did the same and questioned him:

What did he hope to accomplish by asking those questions of Orac?

Re "breaking a promise":
Orac said ( paraphrase) if numbers went down, he might reconsider.
Jake doesn't get that "numbers going down" is not equivalent to a decrease in one isolated place where other reasons may explain the drop in cases ( the issues of minorities in a locale with a 'history' )
Does a quibble about Thorsen's role also negate other relevant studies that didn't involve him?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

"... my main regret is that I didn’t look over at Jake’s face during the part of my talk where I discussed clinical equipoise and used a vaxed vs, unvaxed RCT ..."

which would be, "And he kept sneering at me, his eyes saying 'I know I'm lying and you have to sit there and take it' while talking about keeping people from knowing the truth about vaccines."

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

"My original plan was to kill him with exaggerated kindness if he showed up, but, as I said before, he was just so damned annoying that I had difficulty doing it. OK, so I’m human, my ‘nym notwithstanding. I did, however, manage to take my time getting to him at the Q&A."

Will probably be written thus:

"My original plan was to kill him... if he showed up... he was just so damned annoying."

Deconstruct Jake's "logic" from his blog post. He quotes an old statement by Orac (I think pre scienceblogs):

“I propose as quite a reasonable measure that, if autism rates fall by 50% or more in 2010 or even 2015, I will happily admit that I was incorrect in my assessment and rejoice that such a blow has been struck against this condition. If rates fall by less than 50% but still inarguably statistically significant, I will concede that this would be pretty good epidemiological evidence that there might be a connection, although in that case the connection would clearly not be nearly as strong as the link claimed by some activists, like J.B. Handley, founder of Generation Rescue, whose website states quite bluntly that 'childhood neurological disorders such as autism, Asperger’s, ADHD/ADD, speech delay, sensory integration disorder, and many other developmental delays are all misdiagnoses for mercury poisoning.'”

He then goes on to say:

"On January 7th, 2008, he broke his own promise to wait until 2015 to draw any hard and fast conclusions about thimerosal’s role in causing autism when he wrote a blog post on “Science”-Based Medicine titled:

“Mercury in vaccines as a cause of autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASDs): A failed hypothesis”"

See what he did there? First he changed the statement. Orac didn't promise to hold off having an opinion until the data are in. (yeah, Orac not having an opinion...) But apparently no one at AoA could parse that simple logic.

Next, rates had to fall by 50%. Alabama saw a drop. Oh dearly my, why isn't David making amends to the poor people of AoA? Let's not quibble over the fact that it's not 50%, it's a drop! But that's not the quibble. Right, the rate climbed to 1 in 88, but in Alabama, who we all know took thimerosal out of vaccines first...we know this right....please tell me there is some logic linking the drop in Alabama to vaccines when the rate is going up elsewhere....especially when my own blog decried the increase in rate....

It's just the sort of straw-grasping one expects from AoA. Only Jake actually believes it.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

In other antivaccinationist news:

Dr Jay drops in @ AoA. New book, talks with John, discussion of Orac et compagnie. ( post about Lanza).

And I'm off.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 11 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ I. Rony Meter

" but in Alabama, who we all know took thimerosal out of vaccines first…"

Well, apparently since the ascertained cases dropped among blacks but increased from 1.4 to 2.3 cases per thousand among hispanics, the pediatricians in Alabama saved the new vaccines for black children, while the hispanic kids were selected to receive the evil old, thimerosal-containing vaccines. I wonder why they did that. Do physicians in Alabama hate hispanics?

In other "Twitter" *news*...Jake is using his AoA "Twitter account" to hit on Brian Deer:

Jake links to this undated *F. Edward Yazbak* commentary about Mr. Deer.…

* Yazbak is the POS medical doctor who defends child murderers/child batterers with his pseudoscience claims that vaccines caused the deaths and permanent crushing brain injuries and broken bones of young infants.


per the rhetoric of the anti-vaccine groups: pediatricians hate everyone. It's all about the money.

By I. Rony Meter (not verified) on 12 Mar 2013 #permalink

Mark Blaxill and Jennifer Larson have indeed had an affair, and are continuing to have one. The canary party is a sham, a cover up for this affair.

By Anonymous (not verified) on 15 Mar 2013 #permalink

And how would you know that, O Anonymous one? Why should we believe you?

Here is where the sides differ in their tactics - we rely on evidence, science and actual research to refute the positions of the anti-vaccine groups - on the other side, they resort to personal attacks, smears & innuendos to attack their opponents (even if they are supposedly on the same side).

… out of curiosity, do you folks see any anti-semitism in that sentence, or is it just me?

Actually, yes. Out of the three adjectival phrases Patimmy uses to decorate his reference to Ne'eman, two of them are associated with anti-Jewish stereotypes (the "Rolexes are signs of wealth; Jews flaunt their wealth tastelessly" implication is easy to catch, but fewer people today who aren't anti-Semite bigots remember that "greasy" was once a go-to descriptor for vilifying Jews. I usually like to suggest ways that one can verify the assertions I make, if so inclined, but here I actually do not recommend Googling "greasy Jew.")

To play devil's advocate, it is possible for one person to observe another and perceive (correctly or otherwise) that person as being "greasy," i.e. insincere and deceptive beneath surface charm, and offensive in their flaunting of wealth, without necessarily even giving a thought to that person's ethnicity. Forgive that convoluted sentence, but the bottom line is: by itself, coming from an unknown person, I wouldn't consider that unflattering description of Ne'eman to be strong evidence of anti-Semitism.

But coming from Patimmy Bolen, I don't see any reason to doubt it. Over a course of decades, he has never displayed any sign of thinking critically before swallowing whole-heartedly or inventing himself demonizing conspiracy theories. I have no particular reason to think the seed of anti-Semitism wouldn't find welcoming soil in his dark, musty psyche.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 16 Mar 2013 #permalink

I have no particular reason to think the seed of anti-Semitism wouldn’t find welcoming soil in his dark, musty psyche

Considering all the horse manure he piles up, it should flourish like the green bay tree.

Wanted to add @anonymous:

Whether or not Blaxill and Larson are dancing the blanket hornpipe is completely irrelevant, btw.

Well, I think that Antaeus certainly gets Bolen's moral superiority angle ( *greasy* as slick, evasive, deceptive) but I also detect an additional slur - *greasy* as physically oily- darker, even *dirtier*, which is often used as an epithet for Mediterranean people by northeners**. I've heard this applied to Italians, Spanish, Greeks and Syrians. So he manages to be doubly offensive. After all, it is Bolen. Can we expect less? ( altho' Bolen has already descended to a much lower point when discussing sceptics Novella and Randi)

This brings to mind something I've observed in alt med ( from both woo generalists and ani-vaxxers):
they frequently utilise the pre-adolescent tendency of insulting opponents based on physical appearance. They may also equate allegedly morally disreputable inclinations with physically un-attractive appearance.( Which is probably pre- pre-adolescent). Conversely, morally acceptable people are presented as attractive and desirable.

And Shay, innuendo about others' sex lives/ sexuality has worked for him- people read his swill- so he continues. Says something about the quality of his audience and his associates that they don't call him out on that point even if they otherwise agree with the rest of his garbage.

** as if melanin-deficient tighty-whities should talk!

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Mar 2013 #permalink

#182 Antaeus

Glad someone else saw it too. And I agree with you that I wouldn't necessarily suspect it of most people using those words.

However, Orac has made me much more attentive to Holocaust denial and the related ugly nesting conspiracy theories, and in the end, most of them come down to antisemitism... leading me to suspect more crank magnetism.

Oh, brave Anonymous, the only relevant thing we need to know about Mark Blaxill is that he is not a scientist, nor is he a doctor. He unfortunately thinks having a Master's of Business Administration makes he know all. It is an infliction that we have also seen in engineers (Andy Cutler) and computer scientists (Gary Goldman).

The real issue is that Mr. Blaxill uses his money, and what he thinks is a relevant education, to push an agenda that is counter to reality and public health. That is what the real evidence shows, starting with that silly paper he helped write for Medical Hypothesis claiming autism was really mercury poisoning (hint: it is not).

In other Internecine War news:

Today @ AoA, in a comment to Dan's long and winding post about ' blaming mothers'. mercury and Freud:
"Barry" questions why AoA closed down the thread where Jake appeared: he believes that Jake told the truth- albeit ugly- and commenters wer ethen censored ( ha ha).
Kim responds defensively but notes her surprise about how quickly commenters " turned on us".

Perhaps Jake will take a break from writing his long-awaited expose of Orac and speak up.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Mar 2013 #permalink

I don't recall ever using *greasy* with regard to a person. "Greasy" is okay when you're describing the French fries that you scarfed down...or when you're describing the exhaust fan over my kitchen stove...that is way overdue for cleaning. :-)

Unctuous is one of my faves, is smarmy.

Anonymous...your comment is inappropriate and considered "bad form" on a science blog.

a comment to Dan’s long and winding post about ‘ blaming mothers’. mercury and Freud

We'll never really know until we have a refrigerator vs. non-refrigerator mom study, now will we? Best line Dan's come up with in a long time: "But this has all come from the other side. Here's hoping we don't pick up their bad habits."

Whatever gets you through the night, Dan.

@ Narad:

I'm waiting for Dan to re-re-interpret the refrigerator mother hypothesis to show that mothers- like refrigerators- also have mercury so they can concievably in-directly cause autism. But it's not the mother- it's her *mercury* wot did it.

-btw- he shambles through his re-interpretation of *Dora* as if we haven't already encountered that balderdash.

Nice song title repartee, mister.

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Mar 2013 #permalink

Here's Kim's lame explanation and reply to "Barry", who questioned the decision to shut down comments about Jake's rogue behavior...

"Barry, we closed the comments not to censor - we ran plenty of comments pro and con - and I think Dan and our team handled a contentious issue pretty deftly. We closed the comments in an effort to move forward. I for one was surprised at how quickly some commenters turned on us at AofA and got very personal - after years of reporting and working quite honestly 24/7/365 to keep this site up and running."

There's not enough fumigating agent in the world to cover up the steaming pile of excrement that Jake dumped on Bolen for publication.

@ lilady:

Although I've got to leave-
I wonder exactly which 'Barry' that might be?

By Denice Walter (not verified) on 16 Mar 2013 #permalink

@ Denice Walter: I've got an *educated guess* who "Barry" is.

Hey guys,
I imagine that many of you don’t much care for the anti-vaccine movement, so I would like to invite you over to a wiki I am working on.

A wiki is a great idea, but after creating an account on wikispaces, it still told me I didn't have permission to see the page noted above.

By Antaeus Feldspar (not verified) on 16 Mar 2013 #permalink